To all those girls out there reading this, "go out and kick ass" today.
This is a letter to my younger self. Be confident, be empowered, say something. Be confident because you have no reason not to be, be empowered because of everything that can be accomplished with a little self-love, and say something to get yourself help.
This is a letter to my younger self begging her to have stood up for herself instead of letting her male teacher tell her she would "never amount to anything." This is a letter to my younger self begging her to stand up for herself when male coworkers take turns punishing her for being a woman. To stand up to the creeps that got off on making you feel uncomfortable with sly remarks about your body for three years.
This is a letter to all the women and men who saw what was happening to me. You did not do anything, did not say anything, and did not bother to ask me if I was OK. Why did you refuse to stand up for me? Instead, you joined in on the commentary, making it clear what my value in society is and will forever be as a woman.
This is a letter to those who did approach me and showed me that there was nothing shameful in asking for help.
This is a letter to all of the young girls in the workforce, in the classroom, and moving through life in a society that does not respect their bodies. This is a letter telling them that it is time to take a stance, to speak up when injustice occurs, and to break free from the idea that you are nothing more than a sexual object.
You, as a woman, are worthy. You are important, you are loved, and you can be whatever you want to be.
Maya Angelou stated, "I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass." I in no way accept how I was treated. I work hard to stay sensitized to trauma and the over-sexualization of women in the face of social media. By the age of 11, I was no longer a child in the eyes of society. I was a sexual object and was treated as such. Women all over the world must endure this: the men in their lives always want to assert their dominance, always want to make sure the women feel worthless, less than. This is a letter to women to never accept that.
This is a letter to my younger self to not accept the role put upon me by society, to surpass and inspire younger girls as my heroes inspired me. To all those girls out there reading this, "go out and kick ass" today.